Are we Vikings or Scandinavians?

Dr. Elisabeth I. Ward PLU Scandinavian Cultural Center What do we mean when we talk about things like the “Viking spirit” and “Scandinavian identity”? What does it mean to be “Norwegian American”? These are questions I deal with all the time in my work at the Scandinavian Cultural Center at Pacific Lutheran University, a college started by a Lutheran Norwegian pastor in 1890 and attended by many Norwegians and Norwegian Americans through its 125-year history. It is also a question I used to deal with when I worked at the Smithsonian Institution on an exhibition about the Vikings called Vikings: The North Atlantic Saga. These
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The Norwegian American

Published since May 17, 1889 PO Box 30863 Seattle WA 98113 Tel: (206) 784-4617 • Email:

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